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A Simple Wedding Workflow Checklist

A Simple Wedding Workflow Checklist for Professional Photographers

You’ve just finished shooting an amazing ten hour wedding. Two cameras, perhaps even a second shooter. Total clicks are in the range of 3k-5k. Even though you’re on such a high, in the back of your mind you’re thinking, “ugh this is going to be such a long edit!”

Monday morning comes around and you start culling, but then your inbox starts filling up, Facebook is calling your name, and the dog is barking at you. What do you do?

As professional photographers, we’ve all been in this situation before. You need help. That’s exactly why I created this wedding workflow checklist. Feel free to use any or all of it to help you stay streamlined.

1. Download cards – 1 hour
I personally don’t cull as I download, although I know a few photographers who do. Once downloaded, I point Aperture to the images on my computer, as this leads to the fastest workflow.

2. First-Round Cull – 1.5 hours
While I could outsource the Cull, I personally feel that it’s important to cull your own images because that’s your quality control, your product. A lot of people ask me how I’m able to cull so quickly. One tip – do your cull as close as possible to the wedding date. The images will still be top of mind and at the forefront of your memory. This is the single biggest reason that culling is a quick process for me. Also, in Aperture, make sure to cull using Quick Preview Mode!

A Simple Wedding Workflow Checklist for Professional Photographers

3. Prepare selects in an Aperture library – 10 minutes
I flag the images that I’ve selected to prepare for ShootDotEdit’s Aperture Workflow, and then delete previews of the images that were not kept in the cull. This saves me uploading 3-4 GBs, and instead I only have to upload 500-900 MBs!

4. Color Correction – outsourced (2-3 days)
Correcting for exposure and white balance is essential to a successful and timely edit. I chose to outsource this part of post-production to ShootDotEdit. I deliver about 800 images to my clients, so outsourcing color correction saves at leaset 4-5 hours per job. When I first started trusting a specialist with my post production, I expected perfection. But, after a few jobs, I realized what the true value of outsourcing is. No one can duplicate me. And, so I expect ShootDotEdit to get my images 90 percent of the way there. They get the images to a consistent and even state, and then I put my final touch on them.

A Simple Wedding Workflow Checklist for Professional Photographers

5. Receive Aperture library back from ShootDotEdit

6. Add Signature Style – 30 minutes
I simply add my own signature style on top of the corrections ShootDotEdit made. To do this, I apply my signature preset to all of the images, making sure to turn off the exposure and white balance settings inside the preset. This way, I still am able to utilize ShootDotEdit’s color correction, but get the images to match my signature style. I apply this preset across the board, and I’m done!

7. Process and Upload to Pictage

Why I Choose to Outsource:
Finding a way to outsource parts of my post-production, but still keep my signature style, has been amazing. I don’t stress anymore because I know that the bulk of the time I’d be spending on each shoot is now being spent on other important things in my daily life.  Less “heavy lifting” in my life…. gotta love that!

Outsourcing in general is a really great idea especially if you aren’t running a studio with employees. It gives you the opportunity to get the support you need to work even more efficiently, increase profits, and mostly, be a happier business owner!

About Brian Friedman

photographer brian friedman

New York-based photographer Brian Friedman started out as a road manager for the legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes. But it was during Haynes’ 20-city tour, that Brian began photographing Roy and discovered his passion for image making that put him on a road to a new career.  Since then, he has sharpened his skills and his eye to become recognized as a photographer of choice by noted entertainment personalities, politicians, corporate leaders, event planners and of course, brides and grooms from all over the world.

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!